‘Phenomenal work’


Among the allegations in Graeme Smith’s reporting this weekend was that, in regards to Asadullah Khalid, “the generals knew exactly what was going on.” When concerns about Khalid were raised two years ago, Gen. Rick Hillier, then chief of the defence staff, was asked about the governor and commented as follows.

Gen. Hillier confirmed he was aware of allegations against the governor, but said it is up to the Afghan government to deal with them. He also praised Mr. Khalid for the work he has done in Kandahar.

“Governor Asadullah has been doing some phenomenal work in Kandahar province. Obviously, we have worked with him because he is the governor there. And we have seen some incredible changes in the province, and if there’s an issue of any kind of impropriety whatsoever, that’s an issue for the Afghanistan government.”


‘Phenomenal work’

  1. Hillier was definitely a leader. But then, so were Stalin and Hitler for example.

    I first took notice of this Hillier character when he proclaimed that our enemies in Afghanistan were scumbags (etc).
    The don-cherry-type public amplifiers celebrated this comment. It was of course, the exactly wrong thing to say to the troops, and we can all now see exactly where this led us.

    • Any parallels to Stalin or Hitler are not valid and detract from your other statements. I won't explain why.

      The stink of this controversy certainly does waft to the top… and not just of the armed forces.

      • Please explain why, I believe the fallacy you intimate is really your own.

      • Sorry if I offended … my point was that the qualities of leadership do not automatically translate into moral actions or outcomes and that the scoundrel Hillier was leading us down a very slippery slope to a place where the bad guys are more than comfortable.

    • The moment you made the comparison of a good man like Hillier to Stalin and Hitler, I stopped reading. The remaining of your blurb could only reaffirm your status as a deranged partisan or an imbecile.

      • I wonder this, will you still call him a good man IF he is found guilty of war crimes? I'm not prejudging him and suggesting he's guilty but IF the MPCC finds that he willingly turned a blind eye to torture will you still whistle the same tune? I hope beyond hope that a proper, thorough investigation finds that not only are Canadians innocent of the allegations but that we are actually above reproach. But with the government stalling and withholding evidence to support there case or even refute the charges and military brass having to change there stories to fit leaked documents, I wonder just how innocent we are.

        • I don`t believe you when you say you are not prejudging him. If you were not prejudging him you would condemn the words that suggest he be compared to brutal leaders of Communist Russia and Nazi Germany. Instead, you approve of the words and give the author a thumbs up.

  2. Please get off your high horse Centrist! Hillier can certainly be justifiably accused of politicizing his role – and when generals get political – it's all downhill from there!

    • I've never taken the high horse but you sure are trying to take my statement for a ride.

      Every general is politicized in every nation on this planet.

  3. I've noticed comments (and, without having access to the traffic logs, I have to assume the corollaries of readership and interest generally) on Wherry's torture posts have been trending downwards for some time now.

    Why is that, do you think? Could it possibly have something to do with turning his blog into an echo chamber for those breathlessly giggling over the (extremely remote) possibilities of getting to officially call their political nemeses war criminals? I mean, it's now a delightful little corner of the Maclean's empire where even making the relatively anodyne suggestion that comparing Canadian generals to Hitler is ridiculous hyperbole gets booed. Is that what the editorial board hopes to accomplish?

    • It could be that there is no one left who believes the Ministers when they said "there is no credible evidence of torture" and that once proved irrefutably that they did know, it will hardly be a revelation.

    • Maybe everybody is getting sick of you posting the same comment on every torture story.

      'War crimes? You Liberals are CRAZY! The ICC? It's never going to happen so give it up!'

      I don't understand why you keep hitting the same message. There's good reason to ask whether Canada's military or political leadership are complicit in actions that clearly meet the definition of a war crime. And the government is going to unprecedented lengths to avoid transparency and accountability.

      For me, and I think for a lot of people here, this isn't just partisan sniping. If Canadians handed Afghans over to be tortured, that's a war crime committed under our flag, and it's completely unacceptable no matter how much you pooh-pooh it.

      • this isn't just partisan sniping

        I disagree, and the proof will be when the next Liberal government – whensoever such a thing may occur – suddenly loses all interest in the issue, to the dismay of the faithful ICC fanboys and surprise of precisely no one else.

        I keep saying this sort of thing because Wherry et al. keep harping on it. See how that works?

        • "the proof will be when the next Liberal government…"

          Ok, you do understand that the Liberal party is not a perfect manifestation of the will of its supporters, right? Just like every other political party, they have a long history of sometimes failing to live up to the standards they demand while in opposition. Look at the widespread disappointment in Obama over his continuance of War on Terror protocols.

          You specifically reference the comments on this blog as partisan sniping, so how could the future behaviour of a hypothetical Liberal Prime Minister demonstrate anything about the current motivations of the people here?

          "to the dismay of the faithful ICC fanboys…"

          What the hell is an "ICC fanboy"? You're creating a ridiculous strawman (the Hitler comment above notwithstanding) and furiously assailing it every time the torture allegations come up.

          "I keep saying this sort of thing because Wherry et al. keep harping on it."

          Harping? Of all the bloggers here, Wherry spends very little time editorializing, as opposed to a Potter, Cosh or Wells who write editorials with links to news items. Talking about things that are in today's paper is not "harping", it's his job.

          I still don't understand why you have such an emotional reaction to the very existence of this story.

    • The number of comments (N) is a function of his post's length (p) of the form N = ap^2 + bp + c

      I think the relationship has held constant over time, but post your data if you want us to check.

    • I would echo TJCook a bit here, but in a different way.

      I don't know who commenter avr might be, but I have noticed a distinct posting campaign in online news threads to make it uncomfortable for reporters who are covering the war crimes allegations. Given the gravity of what is under discussion, I am not surprised by this campaign, but I am impressed at how little success they have had.

  4. Heckuva job, Brownie!

  5. Harper didn't choose Kandahar. Paul Martin did.

    We cannot choose the leaders of other countries. We have to work with who they are. Karzai was elected, and he selected his governors with American blessing.

    Why didn't Paul Martin and the Liberals pay more attention to where they committed Canada to?

    • Four years in and everything is still the Liberals fault!

      And when caught red-handed at some nefarious deed: the Liberals did it first!

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